Community Services and Economic Development
Morgan Hill celebrated the opening of the Centennial Recreation Center in October 2006. The 52,000 square foot facility was built to promote multi-generational interaction and advance the physical well being of the community. The large lobby is a central meeting area for visitors and provides a natural transition between the active recreation spaces, including a water park, gymnasium, aerobics room, fitness center, and children's party room, and community spaces, including a senior center, teen center, Kids Zone, computer lab and multi-purpose room. The center serves over 8,000 members and has become the hub for community health and wellness activities.
Like many young cities, the City of Santa Clarita faced many challenges following its founding. If Santa Clarita was to change its perception as being a bedroom community, City leaders needed to foster a sustainable economy and develop the existing film and tourism industries to become strong economic forces. Since 2002 the city has invested in growing both industries and enjoyed a considerable return. Through increased marketing in coordination with the private sector and establishing a non-bureaucratic approach to business, Santa Clarita enjoys local, regional, and national brand awareness, and has successfully attracted new film and tourism offerings to the city in addition to establishing a stable economy.
Effective Advocacy, Intergovernmental Relations and Regional Cooperation
Generations, the first intergenerational daycare facility in the Central Valley, serving 40-96 low-income children and 8-12 disabled adults/seniors, opened for business in September, 2007. This project involved three years of work in the making that resulted in fulfilling much needed services while revitalizing a dilapidated, blighted structure. The project wouldn't have been possible if it weren't for the persistence and dedication of the Planning Department, City Manager and City Council.
Enhancing Public Trust, Ethics, and Community Involvement
The Neighborhood Leadership Program (NLP) is a free five-month trilingual course (English, Spanish, and Cambodian) that empowers residents to take leadership roles and make positive community change. Participants work in teams to prepare grant proposals of up to $1000 in matching funds and complete neighborhood improvement class projects. Participants enhance their grant writing, project development and communication skills and gain confidence. Skills remain with graduates even over 10 years after graduation. Citizen participation in local government has increased because of NLP. Program graduates, representative of the multi-ethnic character of Long Beach, have assumed leadership roles.
Housing Programs and Innovations
Through a partnership with local nonprofit Community HousingWorks, the City of Poway and Poway Redevelopment Agency pioneered the use of green and sustainable materials and created the first affordable apartment complex in the nation to be fully powered by the sun. Solara is Poway's fifth multi-family affordable housing development. The development is situated on a 2.5 acre site which includes 56 rental apartment units, and a 2100 square-foot community room equipped with a computer learning center. Since opening its doors in March 2007, Solara has received local, state and national recognition for establishing a new standard in sustainable design.
Newport Beach is faced with the requirement to replace an unprecedented number of city facilities during the next few years. The City recognized that it was essential to involve the community in the planning process, and to establish a long-ranger, level funding plan that would schedule the projects over a realistically affordable time-frame. The resulting Master Facilities Replacement Schedule graphically displays all the parameters of the program. It is updated each year and used as part of the annual budget process, thereby insuring that out-year aspects of the program are not overlooked in the context of the short-term funding issues.
Planning and Environmental Quality
In an era of increasing public stewardship of the environment, the Perris Solar Shine Program boldly faces the challenges of the state's landmark legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions-AB 32. In partnership with Honeywell International, Perris reduces its electricity needs by 20% through harnessing the sun's abundant power in newly constructed, architecturally enhanced solar carports, and by implementing critical energy conservation measures at City Hall, the Senior Center, Cesar Chavez Library, and other municipal facilities at no net cost to the City. This innovative and unique "Power Purchase Agreement" exemplifies private-public sector cooperation, ensures public savings and private profitability, reduces 960,000 pounds of harmful emissions per year, resulting in cleaner California air.
A Life Interrupted is a powerful program that targets young people of the community to educate them about driver and occupant responsibility. The guiding principle of the program is to provide information and motivation to take responsibility for individual actions and set an example to others. A Life Interrupted was developed in response to the growing number of auto fatalities of young people.
Public Works, Infrastructure, and Transportation
Graham Reservoir & Sports Complex
The Graham Reservoir and Sportsfield Project serves a critical need for water storage and recreation for our residents. The City wanted to provide an 8 million gallon reservoir to increase water supply reliability and provide emergency water storage. Due to the lack of undeveloped land the City pursued an innovative partnership with a local school. This unique, environmentally sound plan, created a buried reservoir within the playing field to be used by all.
Ruth Vreeland Award for Engaging Youth in City Government
The Tri-Cities of Dublin, Livermore, and Pleasanton established an unprecedented regional initiative with county support and guided by youth input to meet adolescent health needs. The initiative engaged institutions and stakeholders to assess local need; leverage resources, share best practices, reduce duplication, coordinate service providers, expand services and develop a vision to support adolescent health. A Youth Planning Board, Steering Committee, and Health Action Team with representatives from cities, school districts, county, community providers and youth was established to provide regional infrastructure and developed action plans to address adolescent health priorities.
Health & Wellness Programs
Healthy Fontana is an award-winning premier health and wellness program that is used as a model by neighboring communities for its innovative health conscious programming and Smart Growth plan. The Mayor and City Council have aligned itself with the Governor's vision for a Healthy California by promoting healthy eating, regular physical activity and responsible individual choices. Smart Nutritional Choices Programming includes the: Healthy Cooking Classes, Healthy Fontana Web site and Healthy Recipe Cookbook. Active Living Programming encourages community members to enjoy the benefits of regular physical activity. Programs include: Walking Clubs, Employee Wellness and Health & Fitness Boot Camp.
League Partners Award for Excellence in City-Business Relations
Palmdale's Vision for the Future project was developed with the teamwork of staff and citizens to build recreation facilities needed to meet the demands of a gast growing population. Their efforts resulted in the development of two recreation centers, two pools, a softball complex, an amphitheater and a water park. All of which have increased property values, improved quality of life, provided safe facilities for residents, increased community image and value, reduced juvenile crime and attracted new businesses and revenue.